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Football / Groden among those charged by FIFA
« on: August 11, 2011, 05:26:22 PM »
FIFA charges 16 officials

August 11, 2011
FIFA has announced 16 officials from Caribbean associations have been charged with breaching rules on ethics in the wake of the bribery scandal that saw Mohamed Bin Hammam banned for life.

• FIFA open new bribery investigation
 • Caribbean countries brought to book

FIFA's Ethics Committee opened proceedings against the officials following investigations into a special meeting in Trinidad on May 10 and 11 where cash gifts of USD 40,000 were offered or given to associations belonging to the Caribbean Football Union.

One of the officials, Colin Klass from Guyana, a member of the CFU executive committee, has been provisionally suspended from all football activity. The 16 officials will face further investigations carried out by the company owned by former FBI chief Louis Freeh.

FIFA said in a statement: "The FIFA Ethics Committee has today opened ethics proceedings against 16 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) officials in regard to apparent violations of the Code of Ethics connected to the investigation of the cases related to the special meeting of the CFU held in Trinidad & Tobago on May 10 and 11, 2011.

"One of the officials, Colin Klass (Guyana), has been provisionally suspended from taking part in any football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) by the chairman of the Ethics Committee, Claudio Sulser (Switzerland), after consideration of the specific information received on this matter.

"Judge Robert T Torres, a member of the Ethics Committee, has been entrusted by the committee with supervising and directing the investigation. With the approval of the committee, he has engaged Freeh Group International Europe (FGI Europe) and the secretariat of the Ethics Committee to assist the committee with this task. The Ethics Committee will contact the 16 officials to arrange further interviews in connection with these proceedings.

"It is important to note that the investigations are still ongoing, and that it is therefore possible that further proceedings could be opened in the future."

Klass, president of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), orchestrated a campaign by other associations to write letters backing FIFA vice-president Jack Warner after his provisional suspension on bribery charges.

Klass told Freeh investigators in June there was no offer or talk about cash gifts at the Trinidad meeting.

The Freeh report quotes evidence from Bahamas vice-president Fred Lunn, who took a photo of the cash he was given before returning it on the afternoon of May 10, stating that Klass went into the room when the money was being given.

The report states: "Outside the boardroom, Mr Lunn encountered Lionel Haven (a former Bahamas FA board member) and Colin Klass.

"According to Mr Lunn, Mr Klass stated: 'Why is this door locked, are there people getting bribed around here?' The male (CFU official) then allowed Mr Klass to enter the boardroom, which he exited after a few minutes. Mr Lunn noticed that Mr Klass had a smile on his face and was slightly giggling."

Klass told investigators, however, that he did not go into the boardroom.

The report states: "Mr Klass tried to enter the CFU boardroom on the afternoon of May 10, but was told that the room was not for him. Mr Klass remembered that Mr Warner said on May 11 that the only gifts were a laptop computer and projector.

"Mr Klass ... stated that (he) had not been offered or received any cash gift while in Trinidad and Tobago at the meeting."

The 16 officials are as follows:

David Hinds, Mark Bob Forde (Barbados)

Franka Pickering, Aubrey Liburd (British Virgin Islands)

David Frederick (Cayman Islands)

Osiris Guzman, Felix Ledesma (Dominican Republic)

Colin Klass, Noel Adonis (Guyana)

Yves Jean-Bart (Haiti)

Anthony Johnson (St Kitts and Nevis)

Patrick Mathurin (St Lucia)

Joseph Delves, Ian Hypolite (St Vincent and the Grenadines)

Richard Groden (Trinidad and Tobago)

Hillaren Frederick (US Virgin Islands)

FIFA Is Said to Open Corruption Cases Against Caribbean Soccer Officials

 By Tariq Panja - Aug 8, 2011

Soccer’s governing body will start corruption proceedings against more than 10 Caribbean officials after a probe into allegations they took money from a candidate in its presidential election, according to two people familiar with the matter.

FIFA on July 26 gave the officials from the Caribbean Football Union 48 hours to come forward with information about a meeting where Mohamed Bin Hammam, a one-time challenger to FIFA President Sepp Blatter, allegedly offered envelopes stuffed with $40,000. Bin Hammam, the former head of soccer in Asia, is appealing the lifetime ban he was given from the sport.

Zurich-based FIFA’s ethics panel will meet today and is likely to bring the cases after more witnesses came forward to give details of the May 9 and 10 meeting at a hotel in Port-of- Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, according to one of the people with knowledge of the investigation. The pair were granted anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

“We cannot speculate on what will happen,” FIFA said in an e-mailed statement. Ben Spencer, a spokesman for the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, didn’t respond to an e-mail or telephone messages seeking comment.

Bin Hammam became the highest-ranked soccer official to be excluded from the sport on July 23. FIFA has spent a year trying to deal with corruption allegations linked to the presidential election as well as the choice of host for the World Cup, which brings in $4 billion.

Warner Quits

One of FIFA’s vice presidents, Trinidad-based Jack Warner, quit the sport after being suspended pending the investigation into him and Bin Hammam. He arranged the Qatari’s meeting with the CFU and the duo were first suspended May 29. FIFA dropped its case against Warner, saying “the presumption of innocence is maintained,” following his withdrawal from the sport. Warner was also head of Concacaf, the regional body.

The new cases would lead to the largest mass suspension of officials in FIFA’s 107-year history. Six officials were suspended in October after allegations of vote buying linked to World Cup bidding.

The inquiry has been led by former U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation director Louis Freeh.

FIFA told the officials they would face less severe punishment should they come forward with information on the case. The Caribbean authorities may get lifetime bans if they were found to be withholding information. Some of the attendees have changed their stories about what happened, according to one of the people.

‘Zero Tolerance’

“Truthful and complete reporting will be considered in mitigation by the ethics committee when deciding on potential sanctions,” FIFA said last month. “Any person who has relevant information but does not come forward during this 48-hour period will be subject to the full range of sanctions.”

Blatter secured a fourth four-year term unopposed after Bin Hammam, the only other candidate, withdrew. Blatter promised a “zero tolerance” approach to fighting wrongdoing upon re- election on June 1.

Cuba was the only member of the 25-strong CFU that didn’t send a delegate to the Trinidad meeting where Bin Hammam pitched for votes. Officials from nine countries told investigators they had accepted or were offered envelopes full of cash. The remaining 15 denied any knowledge of the incident or refused to take part in the probe.

“Many cases, which look very simple, are not as simple as they look and this one could be a complicated case,” Guido Tognoni, a former adviser to Blatter at FIFA, said in a telephone interview.

‘Flimsy’ Evidence

Bin Hammam, 62, said he’ll appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and Swiss civil courts if FIFA doesn’t overturn his ban, which he claims is based on “flimsy” evidence. On Aug. 4, he complained about the time taken to publish the reasons behind his suspension.

“This delay is suspicious in that it gives FIFA the time to devise a justification for a decision that it was always going to make anyway,” he said on his blog. “This is also outrageous as FIFA has been quick to publicize my guilt while holding up my opportunity to appeal.”

The ethics committee will also hear a case against Lisle Austin, a Barbados official who briefly replaced Warner as head of Concacaf. He’s alleged to have broken FIFA statutes concerning taking legal action in civil courts. All disputes must be settled by governing bodies or the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport, according to FIFA. Ryan Toohey, a spokesman for Austin, wasn’t immediately able to comment.

Football / Football Club Owner: TT Edition
« on: July 16, 2011, 11:15:21 AM »
After reading the discussion on the forum about the pending TT Pro league changes, I was thought of something maybe diehards can answer.

Given the opportunity to OWN a TT Pro League team, with a moderate budget, what will you do as owner in the current Pro League environment, that will ensure your team not only performs, but your club is profitable? TT$1 million budget to start off the season (remember it costs $400,000 to join the league).

Football / Warner: Big name coach coming
« on: January 02, 2011, 05:23:23 PM »
Warner on CNMG news tonight: after recruiting upgrades etc are put in place, expect a big name coach who he has been talking to recently. "the best we will ever have". Did not release a name. The reporter asked if they were from the Premiership, he replied "something so, I will leave it at that". All remains is for the coach to sign.

Any thoughts on who it could be?

« on: June 09, 2010, 12:00:51 PM »

NEW YORK (Wednesday, June 9, 2010) – Canadian champion Toronto FC will open the CONCACAF Champions League against Motagua of Honduras on July 27, while two-time runner-up Cruz Azul will embark on a third attempt to win the title later the same day against San Francisco FC in Panama.

The Preliminary Round schedule announced Tuesday also includes opening-day clashes with Trinidad's San Juan Jabloteh facing Santos Laguna of Mexico on July 27 in the first leg of their series and the MLS Cup runner-up Los Angeles Galaxy facing the Puerto Rico Islanders.

Tauro FC of Panama will host Marathon of Honduras as 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 28, with Brujas of Costa Rica to follow against Joe Public of Trinidad and the U.S. Open Cup champion Seattle Sounders hosting Metapan of El Salvador later.

The first leg will conclude Thursday, July 29, with CD FAS of El Salvador hosting Guatemala's Xelaju.

The second leg of each series will be held the following week with Cruz Azul-San Francisco, Motagua-Toronto and Metapan-Seattle on Tuesday, August 3; Puerto Rico-Los Angeles, Santos-Jabloteh and Marathon Tauro on Wednesday, August 4; and Joe Public-Brujas and Xelaju-FAS completing the Preliminary Round on Thursday, August 5.

The winners on aggregate all will advance to the Group Stage, which will commence August 17-19.

The top two teams in each group will qualify for the knockout quarterfinals, set for February and March of 2011.

Preliminary Round Schedule
(All Times U.S. Eastern; home teams listed first)
First Leg
Tuesday, July 27
Toronto FC (CAN) vs. Montagua (HON), 8 p.m.
San Juan Jabloteh (TRI) vs. Santos Laguna (MEX), 8 p.m.
Los Angeles Galaxy (USA) vs. Puerto Rico Islanders (PUR), 10 p.m.
San Francisco FC (PAN) vs. Cruz Azul (MEX), 10 p.m.

Wednesday, July 28
Tauro FC (PAN) vs. Marathon (HON), 8 p.m.
Brujas (CRC) vs. Joe Public (TRI), 10 p.m.
Seattle Sounders (USA) vs. Metapan (SLV), 10 p.m.

Thursday, July 29
CD FAS (SLV) vs. Xejaju (GUA), 10 p.m.

Second Leg
Tuesday, August 3
Cruz Azul (MEX) vs. San Francisco (PAN), 8 p.m.
Motagua (HON) vs. FC Toronto (CAN), 8 p.m.
Metapan (SLV) vs. Seattle (USA), 10 p.m.

Wednesday, August 4
Puerto Rico (PUR) vs. Los Angeles Galaxy (USA), 8 p.m.
Santos Laguna (MEX) vs. San Juan Jabloteh (TRI), 10 p.m.
Marathon (HON) vs. Tauro (PAN), 10 p.m.

Thursday, August 5
Joe Public (TRI) vs. Brujas (CRC), 8 p.m.
Xelaju (GUA) vs. FAS (SLV), 10 p.m.

Draw sets preliminary round pairings, group stage for CONCACAF Champions league

NEW YORK (Wednesday, May 19, 2010) – Two-time runner-up Cruz Azul of Mexico will face Panama’s San Francisco in the Preliminary Round of the 2010-2011 CONCACAF Champions League while the Los Angeles Galaxy and Puerto Rico Islanders also will square off when the third edition of the tournament begins in July.

The draw conducted Wednesday by deputy general secretaries Ted Howard and Italo Zanzi at the confederation’s New York headquarters set the Preliminary Round pairings and matchups for the Group Stage.

Other Preliminary Round matches will have the Mexican Clausura runner-up -- either Santos or Toluca -- facing San Juan Jabloteh of Trinidad, Costa Rica’s Brujas facing Joe Public of Trinidad, the Canadian champion – either Toronto FC or the Vancouver Whitecaps – against Motagua of Honduras, and Xelaju of Guatemala against a Central America club.

The Seattle Sounders will face an as yet-to-be determined Central American side in the Preliminary Round, while Marathon – a quarterfinalist this past season – will take on Tauro FC of Panama.

Two berths originally were allocated to El Salvador, but FIFA has suspended the country due to governmental interference in the federation’s affairs. The government has until June 8 to comply with FIFA’s non-intervention requirements or its teams will be barred from international competition, including the Champions League – and its berths will be reassigned.

CD FAS already has qualified with one of El Salvador’s berths, and the second would go to either Aguila  or Metapan.

Cruz Azul reached the finals in the first two years of the Champions League, losing to fellow Mexican sides Atlante in 2009 and Pachuca in May. This is the third consecutive season Cruz Azul has been forced into the Preliminary Round and is one of six teams to qualify each year since the Champions League was inaugurated.

In the Group Stage, MLS champion Real Salt Lake will lead Group A with Arabe Unido of Panama, the Cruz Azul-San Francisco winner and the winner between the Canadian champion and Motagua.

Group B will consist of the Columbus Crew, Municipal of Guatemala, the winner between Jabloteh and Toluca/Santos, and either Brujas or Joe Public.

Monterrey will head Group C, potentially the most difficult, with Costa Rica’s Saprissa, the Seattle-Central America 12 winner and either Tauro or Marathon.  The Mexican Clausura champ, either Santos or Toluca, will top Group D with Olimpia of Honduras, the Galaxy-Islanders winner and the Central America 11-Xelaju winner.

The tournament will begin July 27-29 with the first leg of the Preliminary Round and the second leg a week later. The winners will advance to the Group Stage, the first round is set for August 17-19.


U.S. World Cup Coach: I Dropped Captain Because He Slept With Teammate's Wife

NEW YORK — Breaking more than a decade of silence, former U.S. soccer coach Steve Sampson said Tuesday he dropped John Harkes from the national team roster two months before the 1998 World Cup because the American captain was having an affair with the wife of teammate Eric Wynalda.

Harkes has long denied having an affair with Amy Wynalda.

Wynalda brought up the situation Monday night during a discussion on "Fox Football Fone-In" about a scandal in England over an alleged relationship between current English captain John Terry and the former partner of Wayne Bridge, his teammate on the national squad.

Sampson told The Associated Press on Tuesday he was glad the story was coming out now because "maybe people will have a little better of an understanding of what happened in the final months leading up to the World Cup."

After advancing to the second round of the 1994 World Cup at home, the U.S. finished last in the 32-nation field at the 1998 tournament in France, getting shut out by Germany, then losing 2-1 to Iran and 1-0 to Yugoslavia.

"It wasn't about losing 2-0 to Germany or losing to Iran," Sampson said. "There was more to it than that that impacted I believe the outcome of this team."

Wynalda said he spoke out during the program he co-hosts on Fox Soccer Channel because he was asked about Terry, who has been front-page news since Saturday in British newspapers.

"There's a lot of similarities between what happened to us in '98 and what's happening now to England," Wynalda told the AP. "It's an unfortunate time for England, because I know how that can affect a team firsthand. Obviously, we all know how we did in the World Cup in '98."
Story continues below

Sampson was replaced by Bruce Arena after the tournament.

Harkes was a member of the 1990 and 1994 U.S. World Cup teams and became the regular captain before he was dropped by Sampson in a surprise move on April 14, 1998. He made 90 international appearances from 1987-00.

"I am not going to rehash the things that have happened in the past," Harkes said Tuesday in a telephone interview. "1998 was devastating to me and my family. It was hard enough not to play in the World Cup, but it was even difficult to go through that time period, the most difficult time period of my life."

Sampson said Tuesday that Roy Wegerle, another U.S. player, came to him and assistant coach Clive Charles between the Feb. 25 game at Belgium and the March 14 match against Paraguay in San Diego and said he had personal knowledge of the affair. Charles died in 2003 and Wegerle, now retired, did not return a phone call Tuesday

In 1998, Sampson said Harkes, then 31, was dropped because the midfielder refused to play a more defensive role. Sampson also cited "leadership issues" but didn't elaborate.

Sampson, much criticized by players during the World Cup and fired after the U.S. was eliminated, defended his decision to hide the truth. He said he discussed his decision at the time with then-U.S. Soccer Federation president Alan Rothenberg, secretary general Hank Steinbrecher and current president Sunil Gulati, a longtime member of the leadership.

"I felt that these are the kinds of issues that need to stay in the locker room and within the team and not (be) exposed to the public," Sampson said. "The private issues for me were the most serious issues. I think I could have lived with everything else and kept John on the team if it had not been for the private issues. It's one thing to have an affair outside the team. It's another to have one inside. ... There are just certain lines that one cannot cross."

Rothenberg said Tuesday he had no memory of any discussion of the matter, Gulati declined comment and Steinbrecher did not return a telephone message.

Wynalda, however, insists an affair did take place.

"I'm calling it an inappropriate relationship. It was a major contributor to why I'm no longer married," said Wynalda, a father of three who separated from his wife in 2003 and then divorced.

Wynalda said that when Sampson informed him in the spring of 1998 that he was dropping Harkes, Wynalda tried to persuade the coach to change his mind. Sampson didn't recall such a conversation, but said that doesn't mean it didn't take place.

"At that time, I felt that he was still a player that could help our cause and he was still one of the best 22 players in our country," Wynalda said.

Wynalda and Harkes played together just once after that, when called in by Arena for a January 2000 exhibition at Chile.

"At that point, it was still manageable," Wynalda said.

Harkes, the U.S. college player of the year in 1987 at Virginia, was one of the first Americans to make the move overseas, playing for Sheffield Wednesday, Derby, West Ham and Nottingham Forest in England during the 1990s. He also was among the early players in Major League Soccer, playing with D.C. United, New England and Columbus before his retirement in 2002.

Like Harkes, Wynalda was among the early U.S. players in Europe, playing for Saarbruecken and Bochum in Germany before appearing for San Jose, Miami, New England and Chicago in MLS. Wynalda was an analyst for ESPN's soccer coverage in 2006 and 2007, and joined Fox last year. He was appointed last month as a part-time assistant coach of the U.S. under-20 team.

Harkes also worked for ESPN's 2006 World Cup coverage and replaced Wynalda as a lead analyst for ESPN two years ago.

Now working for different networks, both are preparing for this year's World Cup. Wynalda also is writing a book.

"I've suffered quite a bit through this whole process. My healing is over, so I'm OK to talk about it," Wynalda said.

Sampson, who plans to broadcast for Futbol de Primera radio at this year's World Cup, said he wanted people to know that he and Harkes mended their relationship in 2005 and exchanged a handshake.

"Maybe now people will have a little bit more of an understanding as to why I made such a critical decision back in 1998," Sampson said. "The last thing I wanted to do was drop John Harkes from the team because I really did believe that he was an outstanding leader on the field."

Football / Royalians march past CIC.
« on: November 11, 2009, 08:07:31 PM »
Royalians march past CIC.
By: Nicholas Clarke (T&T Guardian).

After 90 goalless minutes of crushing tension, Queen’s Royal College beat St Mary’s in a one-sided penalty shootout 3-0, to win the final of the Secondary Schools Football League’s 2009 Coca Cola North Zone Intercol final at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo yesterday.

Fans were treated to a series of missed chances as both teams attempted to take control of the game. Christian Briggs had a chance to put CIC ahead in the 6th minute but shot straight at Royalians custodian Kareem Joseph. A minute later, QRC’s Akil Clarke’s short cross was just out of the reach of Qualanson Archibald, who would almost certainly have scored had he gotten a boot on it.

Sloppy defending almost cost QRC in the 13th minute but Joseph showed composure to deal with a threat from Renaldo Garcia and steal the ball in the box. The momentum kept changing throughout the first half and when QRC’s midfielder Duane Muckette wowed the crowd with some stunning ball control in the 26th minute, it was followed by a St Mary’s counter attack but Dillon Kirton lobbed over bar.

The goalless first half promised much and almost immediately on resumption, Clarke’s grounded shot was stopped by CIC keeper, Rheem Belgrave. At the opposite end, CIC got the ball into the back of the net only to have their celebrations cut short as the goal was ruled offside.

The tension continued to build as corners, free kicks and through passes moved from side to side and in the 59th minute, QRC’s Akil Morris just shot wide after being set free. The excitement continued well into the final moments with neither team able to get the ball into the net.

And when the referee finally ended the regulation period, another tense shootout was anticipated. However, this did not prove to be the case as the Royalians converted three of their four shots, while the Saints went marching home without a conversion. Goalkeeper Joseph turned into the night’s hero, blocking two of the CIC shots. Today action shifts to the east, where St Augustine will take on El Dorado at the Larry Gomes Stadium, from 5 p.m.
QRC take North InterCol title.
By: Kern De Freitas (T&T Express).

Debe High triumph in Trinidad girls' final.

Queen’s Royal College ended a six year drought in North Zone InterCol, stopping St Mary’s College 3-0 on kicks at the penalty mark after an entertaining 90 minutes of regulation time ended goalless at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

The competitive nature of the Coca Cola InterCol has seen several matches decided by spot-kicks thus far, and two evenly matched arch-rivals were no different. St Mary’s College’s nerves had been exposed, though, by a few close shaves in the second half, and it showed when they missed each of their efforts at the penalty mark.

Before the long-time foes clashed, though, Debe High School girls retained their BG T&T Trinidad InterCol title, trotting comfortably to a 3-0 win over Providence Girls High School.

Patrice Vincent opened Debe’s account in the 25th minute, before captain Moriah Shade doubled their lead in the 37th, and striker Elizabeth Ng Wai capped things off in the 73rd, causing Debe fans to erupt in glee.

QRC had to work harder for their victory, but thumped home three of their four kicks for what turned out to be an easy shootout victory for the ’Royalians’.

The turnout was reminiscent of InterCol of years gone by. A sizeable, enthusiastic crowd flooded the covered stands of the Stadium, prompting the announcer to request patrons to clear the aisles.

The old, the young and the in-between turned out for the Old Firm encounter, with a deeply entrenched rivalry that extends way back to the original College’s League.

Inside the first 20 minutes, St Mary’s had two good chances from free kicks snapped up by QRC goalkeeper Kareem Joseph. The ’Royalians’ also pushed forward in search of the early advantage, but both teams, given the expectations and the prize at stake, neglected to take any chances and showed each other full respect.

In the stands, ’boom, boom, boom!’ and ’ting, ting, ting!’ the rhythm sections sounded, almost akin to the see-saw battle going on in midfield

The best chance for St Mary’s came in the first half off the boot of Dillon Kirton from the left, but his shot was too good for the far corner.

QRC’s Makesi Lewis has another fabulous chance, forcing a good flying save out of St Mary’s keeper Belgrave to keep the scores level at 0-0 at the half.

Both teams emerged resolute after the interval, perhaps with greater emphasis on keeping a clean sheet rather than scoring the winner. They attacked cautiously, and held their numbers back to defend. Still, Chad Appoo hit the net in the 48th, only to be ruled offside, and Joseph later needed a good save to keep Renaldo Garcia out.

Yesterday’s InterCol Scores:


QRC 0 v St Mary’s 0
QRC won 3-0 on penalties.


Debe 3 (Patrice Vincent 25th, Mariah Shade 37th, Elizabeth Ng Wai 73rd) v Providence 0

Today’s InterCol fixtures:

Central Zone

Carapichaima Secondary vs Tabaquite Secondary, 4 p.m., Ato Boldon Stadium

Tobago Zone

Mason Hall Secondary vs Scarborough Secondary, 4 p.m., Dwight Yorke Stadium

Football / QRC/CIC live on I95.5 online NOW
« on: November 11, 2009, 03:14:16 PM »

« on: April 27, 2009, 02:53:32 PM »
2 games late!



NEW YORK (Monday, 27 April 2009) – Due to the growing concerns about the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico, CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer announced Monday that the remainder of the confederation’s Under-17 Championship in Tijuana has been cancelled and the second-leg of the CONCACAF Champions League™ finals has been postponed.

Mexican authorities previously had closed schools in Mexico City and on Monday extended that decision nationwide. Based on the actions of the Mexican government, CONCACAF responded to safeguard the health of players, officials and fans.

Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and the USA all had clinched berths the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2009, and were to play the semifinals on Wednesday with the championship and third-place match scheduled for Saturday. The four semifinalists will advance to the U-17 World Cup in Nigeria from 24 October - 15 November.

The second-leg of the CONCACAF Champions League™ finals between CD SC Cruz Azul (MEX) and Atlante FC (MEX) was to be played Wednesday in Cancun, but that game now will be delayed until Tuesday, 12 May at 9 p.m. local (10 p.m. EDT). Atlante leads the two-game title series 2-0 from its opening win in Mexico City last Wednesday.

The CONCACAF Beach Championship in Puerto Vallarta, scheduled to begin Wednesday and continue through Sunday, is under review with a final decision expected Tuesday.

2010 World Cup - South Africa / DRAW FOR WORLD CUP TICKETS
« on: April 23, 2009, 08:19:33 AM »
I know the draw for WC tickets was held in London on April 15, and FIFA indicated that they will notify awardees by the end of April. Lo and behold this morning I see my card charged by FIFA. Anyone who requested tickets in advance had such luck?

Football / Cheer up Warrior fans.
« on: April 07, 2009, 08:59:32 PM »
Cheer up Warrior fans.
By: Lasana Liburd (T&T Express).

So maybe you mouthed off a bit too much to your United States friends before kick off for Trinidad and Tobago's last 2010 World Cup qualifier and felt silly after our embarrassing 3-0 loss.

Or perhaps you are starting to feel like you planned that trip to South Africa a tad too early.

Cheer up football fans because there are still many reasons for you to happily proclaim "I am from Trinidad and Tobago and I love football".

After all, our only defeat of the hexagonal stage did come on April 1. It was a bit crude from the "Soca Warriors" but which one of us is not guilty of a bad joke?

It was the national team's first loss this year, their teenaged counterparts will play the opening fixture of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup and veteran captain Dwight Yorke will return to international duty, two games early, to face Costa Rica at home on June 6.

Still not convinced? Here are nine more reasons why all is not doom and gloom for Trinidad and Tobago football fans:

1) Marvin Phillip: Trinidad and Tobago have not had a goalkeeping crisis since Michael Maurice made a surprise return to international action in 1996. Maurice is the present goalkeeping coach and he will not have to do a fitness test anytime soon. Veteran Clayton Ince, a fine servant for his country, plans to remain an active player until his 40th birthday, but talented young pups like Jan-Michael Williams and W Connection custodian Marvin Phillip are sure to put him to pasture long before then.

2) Playmakers-in-waiting: Two years from now, Neal & Massy Caledonia AIA's Akim Armstrong, Ma Pau's Sherron Joseph, CLICO San Juan Jabloteh's Ataullah Guerra or the under-20 pair of Leston Paul and Sean de Silva will surely make supporters shake their head in disbelief that the country was ever so reliant on an ageing Russell Latapy.

3) Khaleem Hyland: Oh, so you can't wait two years, huh? Well, consider the Belgium-based "man child" as the first installment on our future. The last time a Trinidad and Tobago teenager faced the best the CONCACAF had to offer with such swagger was 1989. That kid's name was Dwight Yorke. Nuff said.

4) Russell Latapy: While the little giant is still able to lace up his boots, we would be silly not to take full advantage. So why doesn't the T&T Pro League kick off already?! Even at 40, Latapy can still bring a touch of inspiration to the international stage. But his appearance in the domestic competition should be an even bigger benefit to local football. Hands up if you can't wait to see Caledonia AIA this year.

5) Elton John: The controversial bard ruffled some feathers, a few years ago, as some Tobagonians protested the Englishman's inclusion at the Plymouth Jazz Festival. Apparently they were concerned that John's fingers over the keyboard might be a call to arms for the gay community. I'm not suggesting that T&T coach Francisco Maturana is squeamish about the "alternate lifestyle" but the unfortunately named Jabloteh player Elton John is the only guy in the country who hasn't got a shift at right back-and he can play a bit.

6) Akeem Adams: The number of right backs used by the Warriors is starting to outnumber the ticket scalpers at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. Clearly Maturana has stopped searching where the left back position is concerned, though. Might we suggest some more auditions for that spot as well, Senor? Perhaps we can look at young Adams again. Would be nice to have a left back who doesn't look as timid as an extra in a horror movie.

7) Kenwyne Jones: The tall, cocky self-made striker and the country's most high-profile player has been the target for grumbles recently. Maybe he really is ready to take up the mantle from Stern John then, who scored at a rate of two goals per boo-and he was booed a lot. Anyone but me saw a link between the dodgy coloured streaks in Jones' locks and his sudden fallibility?

For God's sake Jones, look at how well Djibril Cisse's career has gone since he began experimenting with peroxide-dumped by Liverpool and ignored by France. Hair dye is for losers. Just say "no"!

8] Jason Scotland: The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) named him as their best player for 2008. Really? Maturana played him in just eight from 28 games in 2008 and infamously preferred a schoolboy to the Swansea hot shot when England visited last June. Maybe Scotland was an unnamed third party in the armband-gate scandal that got Densill Theobald dropped last year. Perhaps "Scotty" broke Maturana's favourite Shakira CD. Or maybe the coach is suspicious of strikers who actually score goals.

Come to think of it, the last suggestion might explain why Cornell Glen (11 goals from 11 starts and seven substitute appearances in the last year) cannot get a game these days.

9) April 9: Okay, so I could only manage eight. Maybe the TTFF can give a ninth reason why local fans should be cheerful. April 9 seems as good a day as any for a pick-me-upper.

Football / USA bidding for 2018 and 2022 World Cups
« on: January 29, 2009, 09:24:53 AM »
Details to be released in a Press Conference on February 2.

CHICAGO (Jan. 29, 2009) – U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati will discuss the Federation’s intentions to submit a simultaneous bid to FIFA for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups on Monday, Feb. 2 at 3 p.m. ET. Gulati will also introduce the Executive Director of the USA Bid Committee.

FIFA set Monday, Feb. 2, as the deadline for federations to submit the official paperwork expressing their interest to bid for either or both of the competitions. FIFA emphasized that at this initial stage in the bidding process, the only requirement is for countries to be able to demonstrate their ability to host a sporting event as large as the FIFA World Cup.

Football / Warner: I will leave no stone unturned for 2010.
« on: December 29, 2008, 11:12:12 PM »
Warner: I will leave no stone unturned for 2010.
By: Shaun Fuentes (TTFF).

TTFF Special Advisor Jack Warner is once again insisting that he will “leave no stone unturned” in his efforts to assist this country in its attempt to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Warner made comments to this effect as he sowed up the new deal with local football darling Russell Latapy to join the T&T Senior Team Technical Staff and the Federation as Assistant Coach.

As he looked ahead to 2009, Warner emphasized the importance of T&T’s qualification for South Africa.

“I will leave no stone unturned. The biggest hurdle I will face is a lack of funding and I have to bear that burden. But I promise you that even that I will have to overcome,” Warner told TTFF Media.

“I think that we have to prove to the world that our qualifying in 2006 was not by accident.  Secondly we in a sense have a historical right to be in South Africa. In a real sense we have some historical roots in that continent and it’s only fair that if this is the first World Cup there in a hundred years and who knows when else there will be a World Cup there… then we should be there.”

“Russell is capable of doing excellent work at this level. He knows he will be judged at what he does. I told him once he performs well then we can see him as a future role for him head coach of Trinidad and Tobago and he was very happy about that.  This must be looked as a stepping stone … a kind of apprenticeship for the ultimate which is the head coach position. We have had Beenhakker, Maturana and  Rijsbergen and if the time is coming soon when we will have one of our own… then so be it and I am very happy about this,” Warner added.

“Football is his life and therefore if he sees the need to assist other national teams from time to time then I am quite sure he will.”

“I think what has been revealed is the fact that Latas’ objective and mine were in sync. He had a strong desire to come on board as quickly as possible and  I had a similar desire in terms of what Mr (Oliver) Camps had asked me to do to get this thing settled. I want to say that because our objectives were in sync and our desires were the same it didn’t take too long for us to close the gap on our differences wherever they existed.

“We spoke at length on the team and I saw a very mature Latapy… a different Latapy. I saw a technician at work. He was able to identify some of the problems that are still bedeviling the team which he will addressed. He was given every belief that his role would not be cosmetic …that he will have a very authoritative role in the team and that all levels there will be consultations and collaborations. Therefore having been given that assurance he left very happy and in fact so did I,” Warner concluded.

Warner revealed some of the plans for the Team’s preparations.

“The national team will be leaving in two weeks for Argentina where they will have an extensive training camp where they will also play against a couple top rated clubs before heading to El Salvador. We are also in the discussions stage for matches against Nigeria and Portugal. We are not yet settled on them but we are in discussions and I am hopeful that it will come through,” Warner said.

Latapy: I will play if I have to.

Russell Latapy says he’s committed to doing whatever is necessary to take Trinidad and Tobago to a recognized level in world football even if it means having to wear the number 10 shirt on the pitch to get to South Africa.

Latapy was speaking as he completed final discussions with the TTFF on Monday prior to his flight back to Scotland. He is expected back in Trinidad in early January to take up his duties as Assistant Coach.

“If it means I have to play too along with my role as the assistant coach… then I will do it and whatever is necessary to help the team attain the success we are all trying to achieve,” Latapy  told TTFF Media.

“My honest opinion is that we have underachieved. I think we have a lot of talent there and we can obviously do a lot better than the results have shown lately. I think it’s not difficult things that we need to do to get an improvement. It’s the understanding of  the game, players understanding their roles and organization. I believe if we can get these things right it will take our performance up a level.

So I’m actually looking forward to working with some of these young players. Watching them having come back for the last three games it’s hard to correct some of their mistakes in a short space of time. But  correcting these mistakes is getting them to understand why they are making these mistakes. I think if I work with them from a day to day basis then I can help them understand that which will improve them as players and all together the performance of the team,” Latapy added.


View Warner's comments
View Latapy's comments

Photo shows Warner presenting Latapy with a bMobile Blackberry phone on Monday)

Football / T&T players reject Warner offer.
« on: November 20, 2008, 10:04:45 PM »
T&T players reject Warner offer.

English barrister Michael Townley and several "Soca Warriors" yesterday rubbished suggestions from FIFA vice-president and Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF) special adviser Jack Warner that financial settlements were reached with the "majority" of 2006 World Cup players regarding their bonus dispute.

The Express can confirm that the TTFF will make payments to World Cup team captain Dwight Yorke, Russell Latapy, Dennis Lawrence, Carlos Edwards, Clayton Ince, Jason Scotland and Densill Theobald, who were not a part of the legal action taken against the body.

Thirty-two-year-old Scotland-based defender Marvin Andrews, who has been without a club since May, has broken ranks with the rebels and would settle, while there is speculation that Scotland First Division winger Collin Samuel will do likewise.

But the remaining 14 squad members, according to Townley, are "prepared to stand the course" and rejected a sum understood to be $186,000 (US$30,000) per player.

Townley's clients are Shaka Hislop, Kelvin Jack, Ian Cox, Cyd Gray, Atiba Charles, Brent Sancho, Avery John, Chris Birchall, Aurtis Whitley, Evans Wise, Anthony Wolfe, Cornell Glen, Kenwyne Jones and Stern John.

The TTFF have been at odds with 16 players from their 23-man World Cup squad since October 2006 when they offered $5,644.08 each to the players, who were verbally promised half of all revenue from the country's Germany adventure.

Most of the Warriors refused and hired Townley who led them to a victory over the TTFF in the London-based Sports Dispute Resolution Panel in May 2008.

The arbitration body ordered the TTFF to open their accounts for scrutiny, so as to ascertain what the players are owed, but Warner attempted to offset their judgment as he met with several World Cup players at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Port of Spain on Monday and told the media, two days later, that the dispute was over.

 "We have come to the dawn of a new era through the initiative of Peter O' Connor...to settle the outstanding dispute since 2006," said Warner, on Wednesday. "Today we have done just that and we have agreed to a settlement out-of-court figure, which the majority of players have agreed to and which sum we shall pay today or in a couple days time."

Townley denied Warner's claim.

"There is not any inkling of truth to his claim of a settlement," said Townley. "I have spoken to my clients and they said they have not settled and I have never been involved with settlement talks with Mr Warner or his lawyers.

"There was a meeting at the Crowne Plaza on Monday night with Mr Warner and (TTFF general secretary Richard) Groden where a settlement was offered but not accepted."

Gray, Sancho, Hislop and John (A) confirmed they did not accept Warner's offer and knew of no one, apart from Andrews, who had done so. The Express was told by an anonymous source that Samuel also chose to end the protracted legal battle with the TTFF.

"We deserve more than that," said Gray, who played in Wednesday's 3-0 2010 World Cup qualifying win over Cuba. "I didn't agree with it so I didn't accept it."

Sancho, who has not been selected to represent his country since the World Cup, agreed.

"After coming this far along and after what we have won in the arbitration court," he said, "the offer put on the table is absurd."

Six months ago, when the Sports Dispute Resolution Panel ruled in favour of the Warriors, Townley requested an interim payment of $44 million from the TTFF, which he described as "a tiny fraction of what the players are due based on the limited information made public by TTFF".

Warner's latest offer, on Monday, is $41 million short.

"I think the offer is not sufficiently generous," said Townley.

It seems that the majority of his clients agree.
New twist in World Cup bonus battle.

More than half of Trinidad and Tobago's 2006 World Cup squad could face a fresh legal battle in their bonus dispute with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF).

English barrister Michael Townley, who is the instructing attorney for 15 members of the historic 23-man squad, told the Express that the TTFF made an application to bring the case before the Trinidad and Tobago High Court. A decision is expected from the local courts on January 7, 2009.

In May 2008, the London-based Sports Dispute Resolution Panel (SDRP) ruled in favour of the players and ordered "sufficient inspection" of the TTFF's accounts. Townley described the TTFF's alleged new legal posturing as an attempt to circumvent the decision of the arbitration body.

"It is an attempt to distance themselves from the judgment in the UK," said Townley. "We intend to resist it on the grounds that once an arbitration rule is made it is final and binding.

"It will go one of two ways--either the High Court in Trinidad will accept jurisdiction and there will be a retrial or they will not accept on the basis that there is an arbitration ruling which is binding and we will return to London."

Townley declined the opportunity to reveal the legal figures incurred by the "Soca Warriors" thus far but it is expected to easily exceed half a million dollars in local currency. The TTFF are believed to have paid at least double that sum.

Om Lalla, the instructing attorney for the TTFF, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The bonus battle looked set for local courts last year after the players refused to accept that the TTFF's offer of $5,644.08 each, which was made in October 2006, fairly represented their share of World Cup revenues.

The TTFF requested that the battle be taken to the London arbitration instead and the players agreed. Six months ago, the SDRP decided in favour of the Warriors.

"It appears to be the case that the TTFA has yet to provide an account to the applicants which complies with its contractual obligations under the commercial revenues-sharing agreement," stated arbitrator Ian Mill QC. "Obviously, I hope that the effect of this decision will be that a proper account will expeditiously be rendered, together with the payments shown as due by that account; and sufficient inspection of the TTFA's records to enable the applicants reasonably to be satisfied that they have received that to which they are entitled.

"In that context, I should observe that any agreement entered into prior to qualification for the World Cup finals but which resulted in revenues accruing to the TTFA in consequence of qualifying should be disclosed by the TTFA to the applicants (even if the TTFA would wish to argue before me on another occasion that the agreement is not one in whose revenues the applicants are entitled to share)."

Townley, who requested an interim payment of $44 million from the TTFF in May, is anxious to begin a court-ordered examination of the Football Federation's accounts. He alleged that the process has been delayed by the TTFF's insistence on a second opinion from the local courts first.

Source: By: Lasana Liburd (T&T Express)

Football / Royalians, Mucurapo draw goalless.
« on: September 25, 2008, 05:40:07 PM »
Royalians, Mucurapo draw goalless.
By: Ian Prescott (Express).

Time failed to separate the top two in the BGTT Secondary Schools Football League North Zone yesterday, with Mucurapo Senior Comprehensive and Queen's Royal College (QRC) playing to a hard-fought goalless draw on Fatima Ground, Mucurapo Road.

Mucurapo now have 14 points from seven matches, a point ahead of the unbeaten Royalians. Both teams took turns dominating yesterday, but Mucurapo had at least three clear opportunities to win the match.

The result left the league table unchanged, as third-placed Fatima College (11 pts) drew 1-1 with cellar-placed Malick Senior Comprehensive.

Yesterday's other North Zone game saw St Mary's College also up to 11 points after edging St Anthony's College (10 pts) by a 2-1 margin.

In the main match, QRC kept Mucurapo pinned back in defence for much of the first half, but Mucurapo turned it on in the second session and controversially had a goal disallowed near the end.

Kevin Molina, the Mucurapo captain, appeared to have won the game in the dying minutes when tucking home Terrence Clarke's square pass from the centre of goal.

Kareem Joseph, the very capable QRC keeper, had kept his team in the match earlier, but had no answer to Molina's well-placed shot.

Excited Mucurapo supporters were jumping around when the match referee ruled that Molina was offside.

Molina should have put Mucurapo ahead mere seconds before the disallowed goal when he led a quick counter-attack out of his own team's penalty area.

Molina was clear through the QRC defence and facing just keeper Joseph, but his low shot across the face of goal just missed the far corner.

Robust Mucurapo striker Clarke was also clear of the QRC defenders as the first half came to a close, then checked his step and put a powerful shot into the side-netting.

Even when they were on top in the first half, QRC's best efforts were restricted to just a couple of free-kicks from captain Jerrel Britto, who had a constant marker at his side.

Britto's free-kicks went close both times, but without forcing Mucurapo goalkeeper Michael Duff into a save.

Yesterday's SSFL Scores:

North Zone

Malick 1 vs Fatima 1

St Anthony's 1 vs St Mary's 2

Mucurapo 0 vs QRC 0

East Zone

St Augustine 0 vs Arima 1

San Juan 1 vs Toco 0

Trinity East 1 vs Hillview 0

South Zone

Princess Town 2 vs Vessigny 3

Pres San Fernando 0 vs Naparima 1

St Benedict's 1 vs Siparia 1

Central Zone

Marabella 0 vs Presentation Chaguanas 0

Preysal 0 vs Carapichaima 5 (Neil Woodroffe 2, Phillip Wickham, Micheal Reneaud, Kevon Wilson)

Waterloo 5 vs Chaguanas 1
San Juan win seven in a row.
T&T Newsday Reports.

Defending East Zonal champs San Juan secured their seventh successive triumph in the BGTT Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) as action continued yesterday.

San Juan took care of the visiting Toco 1-0 at Bourg Mulatresse, San Juan to move a step closer towards retaining their zonal crown. The other games in the East ended with 1-0 results, as Trinity East defeated Hillview at Trincity while the “Dial Dynamos” Arima pipped hosts “Green Machine” St Augustine.

Reigning Central Zone title-holders Carapichaima continue to lead second-placed Waterloo by seven points after both teams registered comfortable victories. Carapichaima mauled Preysal 5-0 in the second of back-to-back matches at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva while Waterloo showed no mercy on the visiting Chaguanas, prevailing 5-1.

The earlier game at Couva saw Presentation Chaguanas held to a goalless draw by the table-proppers Marabella. Similar to Carapichaima, defending South Zonal champs Naparima continued their unbeaten run when they edged Presentation San Fernando 1-0 in the opening game of a double-header at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium, Marabella.

Naps hold a seven-point cushion over Vessigny, who got the better of hosts Princes Town 3-2, while, in the other contest at Marabella, third-placed Siparia and the struggling St Benedict’s battled to a 1-1 draw. Mucurapo maintained their lead in the North Zone after they were held to goalless draw by second placed QRC at the Fatima Ground.

Third-placed Fatima and cellar-placed Malick finished their duel at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo with a 1-1 tie while St Mary’s moved up to fourth spot after edging hosts and defending zonal champs St Anthony’s 2-1 at Westmoorings. Games in all five zones will be contested tomorrow.

Football / Warrior Nation LIVE at Toyota Field
« on: September 10, 2008, 06:05:23 PM »
Live from the press box at Toyota Field. Check this space for intermittent reports live from the stadium. Also, at half -time will take questions for the post-match press conference.

Football / TT vs USA [in Chicago] Roll Call
« on: August 30, 2008, 02:34:51 PM »
Ok who has ticket in hand and will be at the match? we can probably have a pre-match lime to put faces to the names.

Football / Trading in Soccer Talent
« on: July 18, 2008, 09:50:28 PM »
New York Times

SĂO PAULO, Brazil — Some co-workers are sitting around their office here on a recent Monday afternoon, dissecting the weekend’s soccer matches and picking their top players.One of the men likes a talented fullback. Another wants a player who has been scoring regularly for a top second division team. And the boss is keen to sign a teenage defender whose contract is up soon.

It could be a fantasy football draft in any office in America — only these trades are real. This is the office of Traffic, a Brazilian company leading a new, and controversial, wave of investment in Brazilian soccer.

Armed with 20 million reals of their own money (about $12 million) and another 20 million reals they hope to get from investors, Traffic is buying up contracts of young soccer players all over Brazil. They then lend the players to teams, who pay the players a salary and also allow them to showcase their talents. If they are recruited by a big European team, Traffic and its partners reap the largest share of the transfer fee. (The player, as usual, gets any signing bonus, and an often hefty salary.)

“Instead of investing in the stock market or real estate,” Julio Mariz, Traffic’s president, said, “these people are investing in buying the economic rights to football players.”

Similar efforts to invest in individual athletes have been discussed in baseball in the United States and in soccer in the United Kingdom recently, but none of those efforts has taken off as they have in Brazil.

The deals are questionable; soccer’s international governing body banned third-party involvement in transfers. But without outside investment many Brazilian clubs would fail financially.

Several funds like Traffic have sprung up over the last year, and some major Brazilian companies — including supermarket chains — are creating football departments to invest in young players they hope will one day send European clubs reaching for their checkbooks.

“We’ve been investing $10 million a year, but that is growing quickly because there are big profits to be made,” said Thiago Ferro, a partner in the supermarket chain Grupo Sonda’s department of football investment. “We’re providing returns of 150 percent a year.”

In soccer (or “football,” to the rest of the world), clubs once owned the economic rights to a player under contract to their team. If another team wanted to sign the player, it had to pay his current club a transfer fee, in addition to coming to terms with the player.

But in recent years, free agency has taken hold across the soccer world. And while players’ contracts are still held by teams, as international rules stipulate, investors are getting involved.

The new model is attractive to investors because one big sale can guarantee those spectacular returns. Traffic predicts a profit of 30 percent a year, Mr. Mariz said. Grupo Sonda expects even higher returns because, unlike Traffic, it is going after a few big trades rather than a large number of midlevel players. Grupo Sonda’s projected returns are higher because the strategy is more risky.

Traffic pays dividends every six months, raised from player trades. When a player is traded, investors split the transfer fee with clubs, according to their ownership percentages.

Brazilian clubs embrace the new investor model because the clubs get to raise cash without having to trade their players as quickly or as often. And when they do, inevitably, trade the players, the huge sums, as much as $50 million, guarantee the clubs’ survival.

“If we want a decent team we need financial help,” said Carlos Augusto Montenegro, vice president for soccer at Botafogo, a Rio de Janeiro club that has at least six players on loan from funds or individual investors.

“We know they are using us as a shop window, but it is good for the player, good for the agent and good for Botafogo,” he said. “If there was another alternative we’d look at it, but this is what we have today and it works.”

Last year, Bayern Munich spent a reported $19 million for Breno (Breno Vinicius Borges, formally, but few in Brazil would know him as such), an 18-year old defender who had played just 22 games for Săo Paulo. Italy’s A. C. Milan paid a similar fee for Internacional’s 17-year old striker Alexandre Pato.

It is not only the giants in the big leagues of England, Germany, Italy and Spain who want Brazilians. Last year, 1,085 Brazilian players were transferred to places as diverse as Vietnam, Qatar and the Faroe Islands, according to the Brazilian Football Confederation.

It was those kinds of numbers that spurred Traffic into action, Mr. Mariz said. The Săo Paulo-based firm began life in the 1980s, selling advertising space at soccer grounds. It moved into sports marketing and tournament administration and now owns the transmission rights to many of South America’s biggest soccer tournaments.

It recently shifted its focus to invest more heavily in the playing side. In addition to buying two teams, last year Traffic set up a fund called Cedro Participaçőes, using $12 million of the firm’s own money. In the months since, 18 individuals have each bought one or more shares of $120,000, taking the fund total so far to more than $20 million.

The fund is intended to operate for three years, the same time span as an average contract, and Traffic will always hold more than a 50 percent stake, Mr. Mariz said.

So far the fund has bought all or part of 36 players, and 12 of them have gone to Palmeiras, one of Brazil’s biggest clubs and Traffic’s main partner in the venture.

Traffic executives meet with Palmeiras’s directors at least once a month to discuss the club’s roster. Traffic gives Palmeiras lists of available players. Palmeiras can also ask for Traffic’s help in securing a particular star.

But there are also potential downsides, especially for fans. Investors could be tempted to sell a player as soon as his value increases, robbing the team of a key figure at a vital moment. If funds control players on opposing teams, there is the appearance of conflict of interest. And many supporters fear that people with no emotional attachment to a club might exert too much control.

Gilberto Cipullo, Palmeiras’s vice president for football, said Traffic cannot sell players during certain key periods of the season and said that if a player’s value soars then he would be sold anyway.

Still, the involvement of third parties is controversial. A scandal in Europe over who owned two Argentine players transferred from the Brazilian club Corinthians to England in 2006 prompted football’s governing body, FIFA, to ban third-party ownership in January.

Traffic gets around that rule by signing all players to their own small club, Desportivo Brasil, and lending them to partner teams such as Palmeiras, Mr. Mariz said. Grupo Sonda signs over all rights, except for those to future financial gains, to the participating club, Mr. Ferro said.

A FIFA spokesman said it had not investigated the Brazilian system because no “formal case has been brought to our attention.”

“It is clear that they are not supposed to do that, and it goes against the regulations,” the FIFA spokesman said, citing the January rule, which states, “No club shall enter into a contract which enables any other party to that contract or third party to acquire the ability to influence, in employment or transfer-related matters, its independence, its policies or the performance of its teams.”

Fund managers in Brazil said they are working within the law and stressed they have no plans to halt their dealings. With clubs desperate for cash, and investors desperate for profits, the trend seems set to continue.

“There are some irresponsible individuals who just want to make a short-term profit,” said the president of the Brazilian Association of Football Agents, Leo Rabello. “But if it is done properly then it will change football. Investment will come into Brazil.”

Football / Lara and Yorke for Sports Management Company
« on: July 14, 2008, 08:51:14 AM »
Different strokes
Published on: 7/13/08.
Barbados Nation


FACING CHALLENGES far different from those he embarked on on the field for 17 years, legendary West Indies batsman Brian Lara has embarked on his life beyond the boundary.

Ironically, he is choosing to start that life not too far from the last one he crossed.

Twelve months after his last innings at Kensington Oval, Lara has a dream somewhat bigger than the expansive 18-acre estate he owns at Ebworth Plantation in St Peter – a dream that could one day produce more Caribbean sporting superstars in his likeness.

Pairing with long-time friend and professional footballer Dwight Yorke, Lara has founded his own sports management company with the intentions of bringing young, talented athletes to the fore.

LAY (Lara and Yorke) Management Group (LMG), which is currently registered here in Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, is an initiative that focuses on providing assistance where necessary to develop rising Caribbean athletes.

And for someone who was in that position himself, the former West Indies captain understands only too well the need for such an enterprise in the Caribbean.

"I was very lucky that I had my parents and I had good support from Angostura and Fatima College," conceded Lara in a recent interview with the SUNDAY SUN, "but we know a lot of youngsters who don't have that support and don't have that person to lead them and so they fall by the wayside."

"They get to 15, 16 [years-old], leave school and then fall away during the bridge in the gap between school level and international level. That's the sorta time we want to concentrate on, to help them stay focused and support them during that period."

"Dwight and I, even though we were able to break through and play international sport before that period of time there were periods when we needed that support," added Lara.

And the master batsman has set about this latest innings through the initiation of another.

Walking around the spacious grounds of the St Peter estate, Lara declared his plans of turning the private estate into a high scale residential area, possibly splitting the 18-acre holding into six or seven one-acre lots around a sporting facility.

New ideas

"Right now I am presently conceptualising different ideas of what to put here. I would love to have a sporting team and of course cricket will be a major feature with training facilities and villas around it but it must be of high quality."

"I would love to say that I'm not building anything else here and just keep the property for me alone but I have ideas, so this has been taking up a lot of my time."

However, this dream isn't limited to his grounds in St Peter nor even the small shores of this country.

Just as the Caribbean region shared in every one of the legend's test record 11 953 runs, so too will they share in his aspirations.

Conferred with the Order of the Caribbean Community earlier this month at the ceremonial start of CARICOM's 29th Summitt, Lara is now recognised as a citizen of all the member countries and his intentions will be to use that to spread his "brand" across the region.

"I don't consider myself a Trinbagoan. I consider myself a West Indian and someone who could tap into any market. Of course I was born and bred in Trinidad and Tobago but I have always felt at home in any [Caribbean] island."

But he also admits that he is comfortable in Barbados.

"I feel at home in Barbados," said Lara, flashing a huge smile., "It's the island that I visit most, and my very first tour as a 14-year-old was to the Sir Garfield Sobers tournament."

"So there is an affiliation with Barbados but it doesn't take anything from the other Caribbean islands that I feel at home."

However, the West Indies legend did admit that his choice did go past sentimental reasons, asserting that his decisions were based more on sound economic grounds.

"The tourism factor here in Barbados is very influential in anyone deciding to get into real estate. With the influx of investors or people wanting residents is far greater here than in Trinidad."

"But this is a different ball game, this is not cricket so I have to tread carefully and tap into the professionals in the field. It is a dream but it has got to be something more viable than walking out onto a cricket field with a bat and backing yourself."

Even if his ventures are only half as viable as his cricketing career, Lara can still look forward to the backing of the entire region – just like when he used to walk onto the cricket field.


Football / The New TT U-17 Women Foreign Coach
« on: July 03, 2008, 10:55:14 PM »
I must have been under some rock, but I did not remember hearing TT hired a foreign coach, Randy Waldrum, to prepare the U17 WNT for the CONCACAF qualifiers. Listening to him speak, it seems like his approach was more than any team at this level.

captured video from my recording of last night's trini news. Story starts at 00.28


Football / September 10 Chicago roll-call
« on: June 23, 2008, 10:27:42 PM »
So for the USA-based, our one chance of seeing the warriors in action in the next round without buying a ticket to travel to Trini or Jack Warner being forced to call his bluff and book Giants Stadium, is the game against USA in Chicago on September. If you are seriously contemplating a trip to the windy city for this game, reply with a personal message or let it be known here. We can look in to taking advantage of some group rates, etc.

Football / Warner: You blew it Shabazz.
« on: April 13, 2008, 10:17:52 PM »
Warner: You blew it Shabazz.
By: Ian Prescott (Express).

"You had a chance to create history and go up to another level with our women," Jack Warner said to Jamaal Shabazz, who coached the Trinidad and Tobago senior women football team at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers which concludes today in Cuidad Juarez, Mexico. "You had the chance up to the 90th minute and you blew it," he said.

Warner was referring to Trinidad & Tobago's preliminary round match against Costa Rica, which ended 2-2. The "Soca Princesses had twice led, and were in front leading 2-1 from the 35th minute, until a defensive lapse saw Costa Rica draw level in the final minute of the match. Had they held on, the T&T women would have advanced to the semi-final where they would have met Olympic champions, the United States. Instead, Costa Rica advanced on goal-difference.

Warner was in Mexico for the USA vs Costa Rica semi-final final, in which the Americans struggled to break down Costa Rica before advancing 3-0 on second half goals. Warner said that the Costa Rica effort and a similar 1-0 loss the Costa Ricans suffered to Canada, former World Cup semi-finalists, proved T&T had missed a big chance.

Warner said the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) went through tremendous cost to have the women team travel a week early to Mexico, so they could acclimatise. He said that although T&T are perennial Caribbean champions, it would have been a great achievement for them to also be among the top four in CONCACAF, alongside the United States, Canada and Mexico, teams which have all played at the Women World Cup.

"You go to Mexico and you catch a team like Costa Rica. You are leading 2-1, and you draw in the last minute?" Warner felt Shabazz had no excuse. Meanwhile, Warner cautioned national under-20 coach Zoran Vranes that he should not be looking to come up with similar excuses when T&T host the CONCACAF Final Round Under-20 World Cup qualifiers. Now that T&T have been confirmed as hosts and no longer have to go through qualifying, Warner told Vranes that his only job was to find the best young players in the country and prepare them to win one of the three places to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

However, there was not all condemnation for the T&T women's squad. Following his team's 6-0 victory over the Soca Princesses, Canadian coach Even Pellerud was quoted on the official Canadian football site as saying:" he Olympic Games campaign started with a quite comfortable win against a skillful and quick, but somewhat disorganised Trinidad and Tobago team."

Lincoln Phillips, the T&TFF'S technical director, said he was amazed at what the local women football programme has been able to achieve with a pool of just 200 players to choose from, while the Americans and Canadians had thousand of players. T&T's women have qualified for CONCACAF Final Round competition at under-17, under-20 and senior levels this year. Phillips said that the goal for Trinidad and Tobago now would be to become a force at the CONCACAF level.

Shabazz felt that the gap between T&T and the CONCACAF powers was narrowing. Shabazz also commended the TTFF for honouring the women's team although they fell short of expectations. Shabazz also said there was a big role for the local media in promoting the women's game.

"Being in Mexico for the last ten days, I saw a media that was frenzied,"Shabazz said. "And that woke me up about the role of the media in building women's football."

Football / England gets a boost from Warner
« on: February 08, 2008, 09:01:26 PM »
England gets a boost from Warner
Saturday, February 9
Trinidad Guardian

ENGLAND has received a major boost to its 2018 World Cup chances after influential Fifa vice-president Jack Warner hailed the Football Association as the most-respected association in the world.

Warner’s latest remarks also open the way to a friendly between England and T&T on June 1 in the West Indies.

The FA had wanted Warner, the head of Caribbean football, to redress comments he made last year about England being “an irritant” to Europe and having had no impact in world football.

Warner now says while European football figures do denigrate England, in the rest of the world the FA’s international development work has reaped huge dividends.

He also claims that without his active support, former FA chairman Geoff Thompson would not have been elected as a fellow Fifa vice-president.

On their side, the FA is keen to hold the friendly in the West Indies on June 1 because Warner, the president of the Concacaf federation, is a very important Fifa figure in terms of the 2018 World Cup bid.

The match would also be part of the centenary celebrations of the country’s football federation (T&TFF), and would fit in with England manager Fabio Capello’s plans.

Warner said: “I am certain that nobody of relevance within the FA believes that Jack Warner is England’s enemy. The opposite is true.

“What I did say in a BBC radio interview last year, was nothing but the reproduction of opinions and background whispers offered by false friends in Europe.

“Numerous European football grandees have often made derogatory remarks about England in the past. What I did was merely to state them and share them with the public at large.

“Unfortunately, it was subsequently construed to be ‘Jack Warner’s opinion’, simply because it was I who had voiced what others—behind England’s back—were and are saying in Europe.

“I emphasise ‘Europe’ because the FA, under Geoff Thompson’s leadership, and ever since (the failed bid for the World Cup in) 2006 has changed course in international terms and stepped up its international development programme to a level unmatched by any other FA in the world.

“The FA is probably the most respected football association in Europe in the eyes of virtually all countries within Concacaf, Asia, Africa and South America.”

Warner is a vital figure in terms of the 2018 campaign however—he directly controls three of the 24 Fifa executive committee votes and has a strong influence over four more. He is also a strong backer of Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

Warner was also instrumental in securing Thompson the seat as Britain’s Fifa vice-president. Scottish FA president John McBeth was about to take the post last May, only to be forced to withdraw after suggesting African and Caribbean associations were tainted by corruption and greed.

Warner added: “To assume that I had a personal grudge against England is incorrect. Frankly, without my active support, there still would not be an Englishman in Fifa’s executive committee today: I encouraged Geoff to take on the responsibility of Fifa vice-president after that deplorable Scot McBeth lashed out against virtually anything non-British in a reprehensible way.

Football / Some thoughts from Coach Rene Simoes
« on: January 10, 2008, 08:04:51 PM »
Is there anything we can learn?

Some thoughts from coach Rene Simoes
Jamaica Observer

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dear Jamaicans,

ON this first contact with you, I'd like to thank all who have showed me support and friendship upon my arrival, and even before I landed on the island.

However, since my arrival, I've heard a few comments that have concerned me. These were loving comments, but dangerous ones considering the arduous job we have ahead of us in order to reach South Africa 2010.
Some of the comments were:

"Simoes is back, now we'll qualify again." "He's the man. Now we have a complete package; Captain Burrell, Horace Reid, and Rene Simoes, We're ready. The messiah is back."

It is obvious that, as a human being with many faults and some egocentricity, these statements make me happy. They are signs that I represent something to some people. But the truth is, that I don't agree with any of these affirmations.
We did not qualify to France '98 due to individual work, nor due to the work of a select few.

Our qualifying for France 1998 was the result of the sum of quality, the incredible Jamaican potential, and the unifying of a nation in the pursuit of a common objective.
Captain Horace Burrell, Horace Reid, the members of the JFF and myself, were only the catalysts of a people and their potential.

The reason I was so worried about all the comments I heard is I am certain I am like the second man in this story. I don't say this to look conceited. This is just the only way I know how to work, and I believe that success only has any value if it is achieved this way.

The first time I came to "Jamaica Land We Love", it was due to Captain Burrell's refusal to take no for an answer. This time around it is different. I wanted to come.
I'm here now because I believe in the Jamaican potential to achieve things when united. I'm here because I believe in the great Jamaican internal strenght, something I'm yet to see in many nations, including my own.

Jamaicans have a hard time working collectively and my experience has shown that this is a cultural aspect.
Jamaicans are brought up to be proud individuals. When I arrived here in 1994, I went to a game and gave an interview in which I said the teams looked like teams of seals. There were eleven on each side, but each player only played for himself like in a circus. I've never seen a seal throw the ball to another.

My first order of business will be assessing and diagnosing Jamaican football's present situation. Then I will draw up a plan with strategies to take us to South Africa in 2010. I think the programme should be called: "Goal: South Africa 2010 and Beyond".

We must create a new Reggae Boyz fever. A few days ago I read an article by my friend, Tony Becca, that worried me. He wrote about the lack of public attendance at sporting events of all types. The sad reality is that if we don't start giving more value to our sports, then we will lose our children and youngsters to computers.

We must go back to playing 25 games a year. This will not only give the team more experience and market value to local players, but it will also turn players into ambassadors for this country that will bring great rewards for the country's entertainment and tourism industries.

When it's time to select players for the various teams, selection will not necessarily be based on the best players, but by the strongest and most suitable for the family.

In order to strenghthen this family spirit, we must have a house for the players. We can renovate the one we already have, and try and get another. We definatly cannot stay in hotels.

Also we will have to make sure that all the administrative departments of the federation work at the highest level of excellence. At this stage, there is no room for administrative mistakes.

I was very happy to hear that Leighton McNight and Gary Synclair would be taking over the financial aspects of the federation. This is a sign that there will be credibility and transparency on our journey.

All the sponsors of the Road to France project collected their dues. All were winners. The performance of some industry employees improved due to their contribution to the programme. The workers felt pride and that improved their performances. This was told to me by a high executive at GraceKennedy. Running a programme of this magnitude does not come cheap, and it is only possible with the co-operation of the private sector. This cannot be the sole responsibility of the government, but their participation is also essential.

It is necessary that the media feel equally responsible for the success or failure of the programme.

May God, in his infinite goodness, fill us with the wisdom and humility to recognise that, with Him, nothing is impossible.

Yours truly,
Rene Simoes

Football / JA to host Digicel Cup
« on: December 19, 2007, 11:49:19 PM »
Ja to host Digicel Cup
SEAN A WILLIAMS, Assistant Sports Editor
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Jamaica Observer

Jamaica will host the finals of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Digicel Cup football tournament, slated for December next year.

The hosting of the eight-team finals was wrested from long-standing host Trinidad & Tobago at Tuesday's Executive Committee meeting of the CFU in Port of Spain.

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) boss, Captain Horace Burrell, who attended the meeting, said it took "skilful negotiation" and "strong backing" from sponsors Digicel for the final tournament to be shifted to Jamaica.

Burrell, speaking from Trinidad yesterday, said the successful bid was a major coup as Trinidad played host to the region's top tournament for 10 unbroken years.

"It took some negotiation, but in the end Jamaica's football came out the winner... hosting this tournament will certainly go a far way as we try to pump renewed life in our football on all levels," said the CFU senior vice-president.

Trinidad, Burrell claimed, went unchallenged as hosts over the 10-year period because other Caribbean territories could not meet the CFU criteria.

He said the main criterion of up-to-standard facilities eliminated other countries as contenders, but Jamaica is now in a better position.

"Many countries could not challenge for the right because they do not have the minimum requirement of two high-quality stadiums, but we (Jamaica) can now meet that... it's a tremendous honour for us to be hosting," Burrell said.

Trinidad has at least five facilities that meet the CFU criteria.
The National Stadium, Burrell noted, is already an approved facility, but with an upgraded Jarrett Park and the Trelawny Multi-Purpose Stadium, which were done for Cricket World Cup 2007, Jamaica can now measure up.

"The National Stadium is always go, and although we've been granted the rights to host the final tournament, an inspection team from the CFU will fly into Jamaica to take a close-up look at Jarrett Park and the greenfield (Trelawny) facility," Burrell said.

Burrell, who was re-elected JFF president last month after a four-year break, said the plan is to have one group of the championship played in Montego Bay and the other in Kingston.

"Hosting one zone in (the) west... will be crucial as we try to revive the playing of international football on that side of the island," Burrell told the Observer.

While the final competition will be played late in 2008, the preliminary rounds are to be contested earlier, and by most of the 29-member nations of the CFU.

Jamaica, crowned champions in 2005, suffered a humiliating first-round exit on goal difference last year after losing 1-2 against St Vincent and the Grenadines - despite defeating St Lucia 4-0 and group winners Haiti 2-0.

Haiti, who advanced from Jamaica's group, along with St Vincent, went on to lift what has become the coveted Digicel Cup and the hefty first-prize purse of US$120,000 after defeating hosts Trinidad & Tobago 2-1 in January.

The winners and runners-up in the regional tourney automatically qualify for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Football / Playing it tough; TTFF blanking players' body.
« on: August 22, 2007, 09:24:27 PM »
Playing it tough; TTFF blanking players' body.
By: Lasana Liburd (Express).

The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (T&TFF) took a full two months before paying their 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup players. But it is taking even longer for the local football governing body to recognise the Football Players Association of Trinidad and Tobago (FPATT).
The national football squad requested FPATT's assistance on August 8 after the T&TFF's failure to pay match fees and allowances owed for the nation's Gold Cup showing.
FPATT president Shaka Hislop wrote an email to the T&TFF on August 9 requesting dialogue on the matter. His letter, like previous correspondence sent by FPATT, went unanswered by the T&TFF.
However, the Gold Cup players were subsequently told to collect outstanding monies on August 13. The T&TFF had one stipulation though. The national footballers were told to only expect payment after they had returned their Adidas bags.
Hislop, in a follow-up letter to the T&TFF, claimed disbelief at the stance taken by T&TFF general secretary Richard Groden and pleaded with the administrators to avoid such pettiness.
"I truly thought that as a national team and as a Federation, we had both gone past those days a long time ago," wrote Hislop. "Someone please tell me we are not taking this unfortunate step backward."
Groden is in Korea at present and could not be reached for comment on his organisation's stance as regards FPATT. But Hislop claimed that he remained unfazed by the T&TFF's persistent silence.
"The TTFF don't seem to have a policy toward FPATT that goes any further than 'if we ignore them they'll go away'," Hislop told the Express. "Which doesn't bother me at all. As long as our members come to any of us with a problem we'll address it accordingly.
"FPATT, as an organisation, is enjoying the full support of the Pro League, the Pro League clubs, managers and chairmen alike, and our membership drive continues If we provide the support and advice that our members want and need, TTFF will have no choice but to acknowledge us.
"But TTFF recognition is secondary to providing help and support to T&T's footballers."
Hislop also highlighted the T&TFF's request to have the players return their sporting equipment as an example of the petty issues than could divide players and administrators.
"I found that whole situation hilarious and confusing at the same time," said the 2006 World Cup star. "Hilarious because I really felt that as a national team we had long gone past those days and confusing because the ink had barely dried on the multi-million dollar, four-year Adidas deal."
The 38-year-old Hislop has officially retired from football after parting ways with United States Major League Soccer (MLS) team, FC Dallas.
Hislop, who was hampered by a back injury this season, was already in the final year of a professional career that made him the Caribbean's most expensive and high profile goalkeeper after his move to English Premier League club Newcastle from Reading in 1995.
Hislop went on to represent West Ham (twice) and Portsmouth in the Premiership before joining Dallas after the 2006 World Cup. He is likely to devote his immediate future to FPATT.

Football / Get Ready for WN Exclusive Gold Cup Coverage
« on: June 06, 2007, 05:56:05 PM »
Building on the excitement experienced in following the Soca Warriors at last year’s World Cup, the Soca Warriors Supporters Club is rolling out extensive coverage of this year’s Gold Cup in the United States. With CONCACAF-approved media personnel in place, members of Warrior Nation Media are ready to bring supporters of the Soca Warriors worldwide, exclusive coverage of all Gold Cup games. Reporting live from California and Boston, and if necessary Houston and the other cities, should we progress beyond the First Round, the Warrior Nation website will be the hub of our Gold Cup coverage.

Some of the features of our coverage include: blogs from our reporters at the games; audio interviews of players, officials and supporters following the team; exclusive photos; the best players database in TT football; football trivia and updated team standings.

We look forward to you joining us for the WN’s exclusive online Gold Cup 2007 coverage, and anticipate your suggestions as the tournament progresses.

Minister Boynes holds emergency sessions -
with TTFF & World Cup players.

Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, the Honorable Roger Boynes, today met with both the TTFF and members of the Trinidad and Tobago World Cup Football team, with a view to finding a speedy resolution to the current football impass. Minister Boynes first met with TTFF representatives at around 8:30 this morning, where the issue was discussed. He then met with members of the World Cup team at his request, founded upon the basis of his earlier meeting with the TTFF. The meeting between the Minister and the players took place at 1:30 pm this afternoon, at the Minister's Abercromby Street office.
At the meeting between the World Cup team members and Minister Boynes, the players once again reiterated their availability and desire to continue to represent Trinidad and Tobago. The players also stated that they were still baffled about their omission from the Gold Cup squad, because as far as they were informed, there was no existing FIFA law, that prevented them from playing for their country, as a result of their pending legal action against the local federation. The players also confirmed that up to this point, no legal action has been filed against the TTFF in any court of law. Minister Boynes is expected to meet again with both parties within the next 48 hours

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